Sunday, March 3, 2024

Wenger reveals latest on injury front

Arsene Wenger gave a quick update on the status of his squad’s fitness after the win against Hull City…and it doesn’t look like much has changed.

The Gunners are currently without midfielders Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby leaving the boss with few opportunities to rotate.

Looking ahead to next weekend’s game with Stoke City, Wenger revealed: “Mathieu Flamini could be back, Aaron Ramsey has a little chance. Nobody else.

“Mikel Arteta will be longer. I think Flamini should be available for selection and maybe Ramsey has a little chance to be back.”

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain does appear to be alright, despite the best efforts of Hull’s clodhopping Cuntis Davies who nailed him with the most cynical of challenges just moments after coming on. There was no update on Joel Campbell, who appeared to tweak a muscle and asked to be subbed in the final stages.

In the absence of so many players, one man who has thrived over the Christmas period is Francis ‘Le Coq’ Coquelin. Having not made a Premier League start since 2011/12, the Frenchman has featured in six consecutive games, with Wenger pleased by what he’s seen.

“I think he’s a satisfaction over the Christmas period. Francis has done well in all the three games he’s played over the Christmas period. He’s matured a lot and he’s very strong in the fight. I would say I have a very positive impression of his last three games.”

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I love the coq – what a revelation!


I am somewhat concerned with his yellow card frequency. It feels he’s getting carded every game. Being aggressive and physical is good and all, but he needs to be smarter and more sensible with his tackling, which I believe comes from better positioning and reading of the game.


If you are playing in DM position and dont get a card then it will be an insult to DM position.Having said that Coq should be careful with his two foot challenges and everything else he is doing is fine and promising

Mr. G

Definitely agree. He does need to be more careful, but if I were Arsene I would seriously be thinking of thrusting the Coq into action even when Flamini and Arteta come back. Arteta is nowhere near good enough in the DM role and Flamini is inconsistent despite generally being better recently. Coquelin is a good player who has been hindered by being used poorly in some of his loan spells, notably that season at Freiburg where he was wasted on the left wing for most of the campaign before being benched


“If you are playing in DM position and dont [sic] get a card then it will be an insult to DM position.” Says who? You? Look, being a good DM is not measured by how rough you are or how often you get carded. Playing in holding midfield is not just about crunching tackles. Sound tackling is part of it, yes. But it’s not the be all and end all. The best defensive midfielders are able to read the place and intercept without resorting to clumsy lunges. See the likes of Redondo, Makelele, Rijkaard, etc. in the past. Furthermore, I… Read more »


As a new DM on the block, you have to make your mark. Getting yourself a little reputation is needed in that role. Just look at the early days of Paddy V he was nuts and overly aggressive to begin with, he calmed down but that reputation stayed and I’ve no doubt against some players this gave him a mental advantage.


and flamini doesn’t?
hes such a contrast to arteta and flamini because he is young, quick and scraps for every single ball. if he continues this good form I would be very disappointed to see him dropped for either of those 2


Jonvafc and Le Coq sitting on a tree…


Let’s make that happen!


more coq please.

“and flamini could be back” …. to the subs bench please.

Le Coq has performed well for the past 6 sessions, and Wenger is pleased by what he sees….

Let’s give this guy a contract…he cant be worst off than flamini man…

Dick Swiveller

6 sessions is a weird way to say 3 matches.

Yesterday was the only time I’ve seen him and said ‘that’s our guy’ though. he keep;s that up and he’s got a spot here.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Flamini provides something Arsenal really needs these days: Energy, fighting spirit and determination. I understand he does not have big name in the media.

Podolski Sklep

He’s good but only really in comparison with his competitors for the DM position. He’s been decent against teams we should be beating comfortably but I refuse to acknowledge him as a long term solution until he holds his own against a top level side. I personally thought he looked out of his depth against Southampton, irrespective of his successful passing and tackle rates.

Basically, I can’t see the Coq’s emergence as changing our need for a high quality DM. Although I’m more than happy for him to prove me wrong.

Alexis trousers

I don’t believe the Coq is all that hard or all that big, but he’s decent and has performed admirably given the organizational disaster that is Arsenal at the moment. He’s not the answer, or at least he’s not the answer on his own, and I think Wenger can see that.


I think what Wenger is really saying is “I have the Coq, no need to buy a DM”, haha.


in wenger speak you are absolutely right except an injury occurs (GOD FORBID) we might not buy before 30th January maybe a loan for smalling..(GODSS FORBID)

remember the invincibles

what. I thought Ozil had a small chance to be back for Hull. did he pick up something again. that wouldn’t surprise me one bit. These injuries are madness. absolute madness. and that too for Stoke. Atleast Giroud is back.


Ozil was back in training prior to Hull, but he was never going to play. Won’t have the fitness to start a game until mid Jan and that’s pretty normal.




Coq has actually been ten times better than Flamini. Best in a bad team against Soton and good against Hull, decent otherwise.
I said that he couldn’t be any worse half jokingly prior, but yeah Flam can stay on the bench

Actually I’m not sure why I’d be surprised he’s doing OK because it gives Wenger the perfect opportunity to not strengthen in that area this month…

Red Cannon

The thing is, with him playing this well, we probably don’t need to strengthen in the DM position right now. I’d rather wait until summer, when our money can be spent more effectively on getting the perfect player, rather than just getting a stop-gap now (which is basically what Coquelin is).

Center Back is another story. We need one of those immediately.


Do you mean like last summer when we should have bought both an experienced CD and DM? Seriously it’s so convenient that Arsene is praising le Coq to th hilt right now that the window is open. Trust me Le Coq has played really well but he will certainly get his physical battle this weekend followed by one of them tough away matches that we have spectacularly collapsed in over the last couple of seasons. I would love him to do well and have me eating humble pie but the way this season has gone doubt lingers.

al Gilmore

Sometimes people just have to accept that it is virtually impossible to get all your transfer targets each window. I don’t mean it’s difficult to spend all your budget or to buy numbers so you can say to yourself that you bought a player for every position. But it is difficult to get every single No 1 target for each position. We got 5 players thus summer and we very close to a 6th. We may or may not be back for that player – thought to be Carvalho – in January. If we can get him now, fine but… Read more »


I am not 100% convinced that he is the real deal yet but he can do a job, that is for sure. He has the tenacity for the role, and he offers more physicality than Arteta and Flam it seems.

I am just worried about the center of our defence. Take Koscielny out the side and we will concede against most teams it seems. Last season we showed great solidarity throughout the season and had the most clean sheets. It may have been less pleasing on the eye, but results need to come first now.

Fergie the Gooner

Would that be a January window Coq block?

Andy Mack

CB is the target.
AW is waiting for the right player to become available for the DM role. Too many of the DMs are just ‘destroyers’ but AW wants one that’s a good footballer and strong defensively. A destroyer in our team would give the refs even more opportunity to give the opposition free kicks on the edge of the area and also to reduce us to 10 players.


Injuries……….sigh! Happened this season, last season, season before……
Never your fault Arsene, is it?

Andy Mack

You’re saying he paid mcnair (or whatever his name is) to injure Jack?
Maybe he worked over the turf Debuchy crocked himself on!


No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m referring to all those players that finish a game fully fit then are unavailable for the next match because they have developed ‘muscular’ injury. Wenger runs the place, makes all the decision so therefore buck stops with him.

No wait, maybe you’re right it’s all just bad luck and coincidence.


2 of those 5 – actually 3 if Arteta’s latest is a recurrence from the ankle problem he had were either bad tackles or freak twists. As was Debuchy, Walcott, Giroud, Monreal. Seriously, we don’t count Diaby but the root if his problems was too.

Yes, I’d say that’s more luck than overuse this time around.

We do get too many strains, but those would have been perfectly manageable without the string of shit luck. Yes, CB aside so don’t even bother as everybody has had that pummeled into their brains sufficiently.


Wilshere, Ramsey, Arteta, Flamini and even Diaby..that’s 5 CM out with injury. Never thought we would be down to bare bones at that position, with only Coq left now…

Black Hei

Le Coq is the last man standing.


Coquelin has yet to face a very good opponent. 🙂 Which he might do against Man City if some of our players doesn’t come back from injury till then..


I think we should have a vote.
If people prefer Francis to keep his place, thumb up. Or Mathieu to be the DM, thumb down.

Based purely on who I associated with the thumbs, you know how I feel.


Coq over Flam for me. More to his game and he actually tackles people sometimes rather than just fouling them. Calmer on the ball too.

He’s certainly not the answer long term but once Arteta goes he could be decent back-up to the ELUSIVE DM


Ozil did not have much of an injury record, but Ramsey, Wilshere, Diaby -are you really surprised?


What about Welbeck?


Exactly my thoughts, wenger didn’t say anything about him, no update before the game nor after the game.


Giroud is back as well right?


anyone who has news about Woj? there are media reports saying he went nuts after the southampton game and was fined and has lost his spot to ospina the rest of the season.

i know it sounds odd but –

i saw the match on danish tv and john jensen was deadly serious and confident saying that Woj won’t be playing again this season..


Please don’t ever bring an article of any sorts by caughtoffside here again. You my friend have been ‘click baited’.


well, as i said, i saw the danish tv transmission of the game and john jensen said that he had from his arsenal sources that Woj was out.

make of that what you want – but the articles on all the shit medias came from those comments and the director of the tv programme confirming the comments afterwards.

why is that not a valid question if anyone has news? (which is obviously not untrustworthy medias that i already linked to, if i believed caught offside i wouldn’t ask would i?)


what I’m asking is, if John Jensens comments on DK TV are to be taken serious, if anyone has any news..I don’t get my news from caught offside

Dick Swiveller

As a rule, I don’t trust anything until there’s some proof. If the Internet told me the sky was blue I’d look up, just to be sure.


He has not be cheated. John Jensen was one of the expert on this match in TV here in Denmark. He is in close contact with his old friend and team mate Steve Bould and did say this in the game. I wouldn’t be surprise if it is true.


this happened just after Poldi stormed out of training.

Harish P

What actually was said was this:

The kid who tweeted it actually deleted his tweets because he hated being a source to sites like caught offside, and didn’t want to be an ITK.

The kid also clarified on Reddit with the following information:

“That’s people twisting what I wrote. John Jensen said he thought Szczesny would be dropped, but people are making it sound like AW told Szczesny he wouldn’t play again.”

Reddit link:

IN SHORT: Caught Offside is to journalism what John Terry is to team WAG conventions.


The Coq’s predilection for two footed lunges is worrying, but I do like his bite.


Well, that reminded me of our great Vieira doing his tackles. I always think that our current team is too polite at times, especially the defenders. The fear factors of Bold, Adams, Keown, Campbell are long gone.

Poldi Poldi Poldi

Why do we still have Diaby on our pay rolls, like seriously? I used to be the biggest Diaby fan, but this is just sad now.


If I remember rightly Diaby gave up his shirt number and refuses to be paid unless he plays.


Unfortunately we are contractually obliged to have Diaby on our payroll until 31st May. After which point he more than welcome to come in and lay on one of our treatment tables but no longer have to pay him for the privilege.

I don’t want a situation where-by Wenger will use this opportunity not to buy a DM in this transfer!


To late my friend.

Dick Swiveller

It was always going to be only a chance, given the market in January.

Anyway, isn’t that we have a player who’s doing well in the position we need a valid rason to not buy? We’ll get one i the summer, I’m fairly sure.


What about welbeck ? Ozil ? Gnabry ?


Two weeks away 😉

Anonymous Kumquat

A friend of a man whose dog I know reckons that Shad is working on an invincibility serum. Going to be ready in “two weeks”. You heard it here first.


I’m concerned for the Ox. The limping after he hit his knee didn’t fill me with confidence. Hope he’s ok.

Costa Gooner

Like le coq as a dm just hope he can improve his passing was quiet poor yesterday


Calling 2 misplaced yet ambitious passes poor?
Just shows how peoples perception can be distorted based on commentary during a game.


Le coq played well but isn’t the answer he gets stuck in I agree but his distribution is awful I’d loved to c him make it but he will never dominate games like schneiderlain ,matic, I agree he’s an upgrade on flamini


It’s sad that through all the injury mire we have pretty much forgotten about the likes of Gnarby n Diaby, where are they? No one bothers asking anymore. Diabys contract expires this summer. I imagine he’ll be fit for the last two weeks of the season n get a new contract? I love Diaby, want him to be fit but where is he now???

Dick Swiveller

If it’s a low wage contract, he *might* be worth keeping but only if there’s a decent chance of him regaining some level of fitness.


Pay as you play is the only contract worth considering.


Interesting you should suggest that… I reckon we should offer him a pay as you play deal. On second thoughts, even if he didn’t play at all the cost of trying to repair the poor bloke will be on us!

I love Diaby but can’t see any Arsenal future for him if he doesn’t get some major game time from now until the end of the season.


If the stories are true he is on a self imposed pay as you play deal already as he is refusing to take a wage unless he is fit to play.

Harish P

It’s easy to forget a Gnarby


Coq. Works hard in the midfield and additional games should give him the opportunity to polish his technique. Lunging in football is something that does not work and you can bet the coaches will be on his ass about that nonsense!!

Cliff Bastin

Anyone else notice how curly the coq’s hair is?


I watched Cocquelin very closely yesterday and he has extremely good positional ability for that role with a surprisingly good turn of pace. He is obviously aggressive enough but his pass decision making isn’t up to up yet. Arteta is streets ahead of him in that department but not the other factors.
We need an upgrade on CDM for sure but keep Cocquelin as back up.

kampala gooner

Never thought i would admit this in public but im loving this coq


I was impressed with Coq, he pinged a couple of sweet passes during the game, one that Walcott should have finished, but seeing that he has been out for quite some time, I’m not surprised he didn’t. Walcotts positioning was good throughout though, just needs the final touch.


He made a couple of runs that Ozil would have picked out for sure.

Me So Hornsey

For the big games Coq should play alongside another DM. I really feel more secure with him on the pitch than either Coq or Flam by themselves simply because he is both faster and physically stronger. It’s so obvious this is what our team is missing that it shows even more blatantly Wenger’s stubbornness not to address this gap over 2 seasons.

Dick Swiveller

You mean, the gap that has been filled more than competently by Arteta?

The issue is the age (and therefore decrepitude) of our DMs rather than their competence, unless we are to believe that last season our defence were supermen who held such a good defensive record with no protection from midfield?


You just put Horny boy firmly in his place! The whole team defended well last season (most clean sheets in the EPL). The entire team just flopped in the big games unfortunately. We have improved somewhat already on that side, but our defensive stability is suffering a little with all these injuries and constant changes in personnel. Its tough to accept, but the injuries are always what cost us – that is why we get frustrated supporters like Horny here. Take Di Maria, Van Pursie, and Rodney out of united’s squad and imagine how they will perform… We probably have… Read more »

Walter Raleigh

The issue is definitely quality. You’re citing a good defensive record, however where was he during the multiple drubbings we took? Also, can you imagine Arteta getting a game for ANY of our rivals in the DM role? No? Then why should he be getting one for us? Arteta is there because of his passing ability, it just so happens he defensively isn’t terrible, but no way is he competent as a DM against an established team. Just look at the record against big teams.

Getting coq-cky with it

Le Coq should have a chance to prove his worth. Time in the championship has developed the defensive side of his game, he just needs to remember he’s not there anymore. Personally I think that he’s what we need right now (considering the current circumstance), he my not be perfect but he’s there breaking up play and protecting the back four. Who knows what a run of games in our 1st team could do for him.


Why he never talks about Ozil? Shouldn’t he be on the training by now? Surely he has a setback.


I never thought I say this, but I have to come out and tell you: I do like Coq.



Feeder Club No More

If the Coq keeps growing in confidence and stature does that mean that we won’t be interested in Khedira? Wenger is an economist after all and will surely pennypinch with Khedira’s cash hungry agents. The Coq is at a good developmental level and could possibly replicate our best DM in recent memory Alex Song, who despite his shortcomings did become undroppable during the bleak years when Van Cuntie was healthy and scoring nonstop.


I think it is very positive what Le Coq is doing. He is really making a claim for a future and we should give him the utmost opportunity to do so. Flamini should return so we have DM covered although Arteta’s 2 weeks away continues and is somewhat worrying. Wear and tear issues with the Spaniard may have to see a critical look into this area in the summer but Le Coq’s revival of his career should also be considered. The one player that has been missing all season and has not been heard of is Diaby. A player of… Read more »


and that line about jenkinson whipping them in blind. thats probably the 25th time i am reading it in a comment of yours.

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